I’m slowly working my way through the Digital Scholar course offered through the Open University.
One of the activities asked us to think about how digital, networked, and open technology has influenced one area of my practice, either in a small or large way.
On a micro level, watching and reading what others are doing has been my entry point into then taking the next step of reaching out to others, communicating, and interacting. I have met higher ed scholars and practitioners with similar interests online, and while I was not far enough along yet in my grad program to be able to have a solid research direction, at a minimum I now know how to connect with scholars who share my interests. From there, I can take the next step of building my networks and figuring out interesting ways to talk about my interests, research projects, etc.
I envision that researchers, members of the community/public, students, and others who have a stake in what universities create, will all be a part of figuring out how to share new knowledge in a digital format. Maybe that means using visual or interpretive forms. A clinical trial reimagined as a novel, or a play, for example. And yes, the components that are essential to include for peer-reviewed journal articles such as methods, might fade away in light of the results section. Or perhaps the research process is part of the new story. I think what this will come down to is creative ways to share research outputs.
How do we work together across disciplines on problems? This seems to be the driving question behind this section. Seems that writing on the open web about your work, and hoping that someone comes across it is a first step. Then how to actually connect with others? Say for example, if I am interested in studying how gender impacts the edtech tools and programs currently in use, how would I go about connecting with programmers, usability folks, etc who would be interested in such a project? I will need to put more thought into this.
Thinking about how this might look differently…and how faculty members – maybe grad students too? – might talk about this. It seems like there’s still a shroud of secrecy over what goes on in higher ed. Maybe faculty and grad students could find ways to talk about their service projects. is it enough to write about it on a blog? I have a feeling that a short post about spending 2 hours reviewing manuscripts may not be tremendously compelling reading, but maybe that’s part of the problem. Should we talk about it in ways that are accessible to our parents? Our siblings? Neighbors?
Recognize the value and importance. I am not close enough to the teaching side to know how much, if any, the T&P process may be changing to value teaching at a higher priority. And in some cases, should it? Some schools have separate categories for teaching-focused positions and research-focused positions. This seems like it may be a way to recognize that not all faculty are equally interested in teaching and research, and place equal value on both areas.